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THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD. 489

knowledge of human nature to enable a chief operator to tell when a frenzied individual thrusts half a dozen pages of loose manuscript into his hand, ejaculates: “Here's some more of that; get it off as soon as you can,” and rushes away, just at what point in a pocket stuffed with manuscript those particular half-dozen sheets are to be inserted. Clear grit and a cool head, however, carried Chief Operator Edwards and the acres of columns of special matter, and hundreds of private telegrams, safely through those first forty-eight hours and that they did so was a mighty good thing for the press of the country, and for the people who patronized the press. If he had ever got rattled, and mixed things, the manner in which that pocketful of specials, always being drawn from, but continually kept as full as Fortunatus's purse, would have got into the various newspaper offices, would have horrified the editors and have shocked the public, if the public had ever got a chance to read it, though the chances are that its condition would have been so appalling that no attempt would have been made to print it.
    More operators arrived the next day, and things were a little easier for the men, but they still had to work at least twelve hours a day, to eat whatever they could pick up from the relief stores, and to sleep wherever they could find a place to lie down. Most of them hired a room


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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen